The Issue of Rape in Rape-Prone Societies

The Issue of Rape in Rape-Prone Societies

Document details
Category: Legal Studies and Law Essay
Subcategory: Law and Society
Words: 1440
Pages: 2

The Websters Dictionary defines rape as any unlawful sexual intercourse by force or threat. The context of rape cannot be reduced into this one sentence. No definition can incorporate the horrific act of rape into a sentence. There is no limitation to what rape is. The act of rape goes far beyond the minute definition of forceful intercourse. Rape is not a one-time occurrence of sexual intercourse. Rape remains forever in the victims mind. It affects her mentally and physically for the rest of her life. There isnt just one victim of rape either. Rape affects the victims family and friends. They too become victims. Rape also affects the entire society as a whole. One act of rape introduces a fear into a community, which was not felt before. But why are some communities victims of continuous rape while others are not? Rape is a cultural dilemma that is not felt by every culture. Extensive research indicates that cultures, which report frequent occurrences of rape, share many of the same characteristics. These societies are referred to as Rape-Prone. Peggy Reeves Sanday was one of the researchers who studied rape. In her research, she examined a number of different tribal societies. She gathered information on the occurrence, meaning, and function of rape in these tribes. She believed, going into her research, that rape varies among cultures. She also hypothesized that those cultures in which rape is experienced at a high-rate, have a different configuration then cultures where rape is rare or absent. In her research, she differentiated the tribes into two categories, rape-prone and rape-free. Her research indicated specifically different cultural factors in each of these groupings. Rape-prone societies share an overall theme of male-supremacy. These societies illustrate women as objects and property of their husband and fathers. Rape is overlooked and sometimes culturally allowable. In many societies, rituals of rape are essential to entering manhood and womanhood. Sanday explains one ritual...

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